SUN Hockey Pool

Ales too hot to handle

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:58 PM ET

DENVER -- In Colorado, they incorporate the bush-league practice of not showing visitor replays on their scoreboard.

It's too bad because Ales Hemsky's goal last night was definitely worth a second look - probably even a third.

The Edmonton Oilers winger undressed Colorado Avalanche defenceman Kurt Sauer at the blueline in the first period, then snapped a shot which beat goaltender Peter Budaj low to the stick side.

The goal gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead at that point in a game they would go on to lose 4-3 in a shootout.

"It was a nice goal," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "We've had a couple of power-play goals this trip that were both unorthodox, they were both on the rush, they were both led by Ales.

"He played hard all night. He was outstanding as I thought a lot of our guys were. Our effort was outstanding I thought, we worked our tails off tonight and played a real good game."

The old, 'how's she going' move is becoming one of Hemsky's staples - dragging the puck through the legs of defenders who are left dumbfounded, embarrassed and forced to pick up various pieces of their undergarments.

Sauer wanted a second look at it, but would have to wait until he got to the locker-room due to a policy apparently started in Calgary.

The goal was Hemsky's fifth of the year, putting him in the team lead with Shawn Horcoff.

"I though as a team, it was a 60-minute effort," said Oilers center Jarret Stoll. "I thought we really brought it, we created a lot of chances, we were hard on the puck and for the most part I thought we took it to them at times."

In an effort to jump-start Stoll, the Oilers played him on the top line with Hemsky and Horcoff. Stoll picked up an assist on Hemsky's goal, giving him three points in his last four games.

Ian Laperriere opened the scoring in the first period, tipping a Jeff Finger point-shot through the legs of Dwayne Roloson.

It was the 11th time in 16 games this season the Oilers have conceded the first goal.

Kyle Brodziak tied the game with his third goal of the year, converting an Andrew Cogliano pass in front.

The two Oilers forwards broke in two-on-one against Avalanche defenceman John-Michael Liles. Cogliano walked around Liles as he went down to block the pass, then fed Brodziak in front who banged it past Budaj.

"Cogs made a great play, taking the puck to the net," Brodziak said. "We talked about that in the last couple of days, that's what we need to do is take the puck to the net hard. Fortunately he made a great play and put the puck on my tape."

Tyler Arnason - who seemingly only scores against the Oilers - restored the Avalanche lead, finding a puck underneath Roloson and poking it into the net.

Less than a minute later, Dick Tarnstrom tied the game getting a stick on Tom Gilbert's shot from just inside the blue-line.

Hemsky gave the Oilers the lead with his highlight-reel goal.

Laperriere tied the game early in the third period and came a goalpost away from his first career hat-trick.

Wojtek Wolski and Joe Sakic scored for the Avalanche in the shootout, while Raffi Torres was the only Oiler able to respond.


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